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Gardenia jasminoides

Gardenia Houseplants: Fragrant Blooming Indoor Plant

A gardenia is a tropical evergreen shrub often grown as an indoor plant for its beautiful and fragrant blooms. They are not considered easy care plants because they require significant care and attention.

Other names for this plant...

Common gardenia Cape jasmine

About Gardenia Houseplants

The fragrant flowers of indoor gardenia houseplants have aromatherapy qualities. The light fragrance is known for helping to ease depression and anxiety. While we would not advise making this on your own, gardenia plants are made into essential oils and teas that have benefits such as reducing pain and fatigue.

Many botanists claim that the gardenia is the perfect plant to display in your bedroom because they help you sleep longer and more soundly, in addition to being a beautiful addition to the decor.

Botanical Name

Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

Plant Type

Gardenias are an evergreen shrub from the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Evergreen shrubs keep their glossy, dark green leaves year-round.


Gardenias are native to China, Japan and Taiwan.


Gardenia plants have thick, glossy, dark green leaves that can grow up to 4 inches long. The plant can grow to 3-6 feet tall and fairly round in diameter. Notable are the beautiful and fragrant white flowers that often appear in double blossoms. Each flower can be three inches in diameter.

Not all gardenia flowers are white; however, you are unlikely to find other colors in nature.

Gardenias are dark green, compact, bush-like plants when grown indoors.

Types Of Gardenia Houseplants

  • Gardenia August Beauty

  • Gardenia Brighamii

  • Gardenia Jasminoides

  • Gardenia Radicans

  • Gardenia Shooting Star

  • Gardenia Veitchii

  • Miami Supreme Gardenia

  • Mystery Gardenia

  • Summer Snow Gardenia

  • Yellow Gardenia

  • Variegata Gardenia

Gardenia Houseplant Styling 

When planting a gardenia indoors, they are usually grown in a pot, although certain varieties can also do well in a hanging basket.

Since gardenia is a shrub, it can grow quite large and bushy in a big enough pot and under the right conditions. Large gardenia plants make showy focal points in entryways and in front of windows, especially when they bloom.

Gardenias can also be grouped with plants with lighter foliage to make their dark green leaves pop. Good choices include Dieffenbachia, polka dot plants, or Chinese evergreen.

When gardenias bloom, their showy white flowers make a statement.


Gardenias will do best when they receive direct sunlight in the morning with afternoon shade. While bright light and sun are necessary for beautiful blooms, too much direct light can cause the flowers to wilt.


Gardenias prefer about an inch of water each week. Although you can water them in the traditional way, they also respond well to drip watering, which keeps liquid off the leaves. To prevent over-watering, ensure adequate drainage holes and well-draining soil in the pot.

Unsure if your plant needs water? The soil should be moist but not squishy to the touch.


Gardenias do so well as houseplants because they like daytime temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is easier to maintain this consistency indoors.


Gardenias like some humidity. If it’s dry in your home, especially during the winter, try using a humidifier or pebble tray to add moisture to the air around the plant.


Gardenias are acid-loving plants. They need organically rich, acidic soil with a pH of 5.0-6.5. They also need good drainage, which makes drainage holes in a pot necessary.


You should always prune your gardenia plant using clean scissors or a pruning knife. Only cut back up to one-third of your gardenia plant. You can prune your indoor gardenia as needed to keep it from getting too bushy, and you can cut both brown and green wood.


An essential part of plant care is fertilizer. Gardenias need an acidic and slow-releasing fertilizer. If you prefer organic gardening, you can use a blood meal or bone meal as fertilizer.

Height & Growth

The potted gardenia house plant averages 2-3 feet, but can grow up to six feet tall.


Gardenia plants are not toxic to humans, so don’t be concerned if your toddler gets into one.


Gardenia plants are toxic to animals. According to the ASPCA, signs of ingestion include mild diarrhea, vomiting, and hives.

Common Problems 

  • Root Rot: Root rot occurs when the potting soil gets too moist. Above-ground symptoms of root rot include yellowing leaves and dropped leaves.

  • Mealy Bugs: The most common gardenia pest are gray, sap-sucking insects. If you have these pests, you should isolate your gardenia plant and treat it with pesticides. A cotton swab dipped in alcohol can help remove stubborn bugs.

  • Spider Mites: A sign of spider mites is sticky webs on the underside of leaves. They can be removed with an insecticide soap.

  • Other Insects: Gardenias also attract whiteflies, aphids and Japanese white scales.

  • Yellowing Leaves: Several stresses can cause yellowing leaves in gardenias and other flowering plants, such as insect pests, diseases, over-watering, and environmental factors.

How To Propagate Gardenia Houseplants

Propagation of gardenias is not difficult and goes hand in hand with some basic gardenia care of pruning and trimming. Your cuttings should be at least five inches long, and for the best results, it should be green wood that comes from the tip of the branch. Always remove lower leaves when propagating.

To prepare the pot you will be planting, use a mixture of one-third peat moss, one-third potting soil, and one-third sand. Moisten the soil. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone, use your finger or an implement to make a hole in the potting soil to plant the cutting, and put it into the hole. After you fill in the hole, find a nice warm, sunny place for it to grow.

The cutting needs high humidity, and you can create the perfect environment by placing a plastic bag over it or using a cut milk carton inverted over the cutting.

Your cutting should root in 4-6 weeks.

Gardenias can be propagated through stem cuttings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the life expectancy of a gardenia plant?

Gardenias can live for up to 50 years if given the proper care.

What color are the flowers of a gardenia?

Natural gardenia flowers are snowy white; however, if the soil is too alkaline, the flower buds may turn yellow.

How often do you water a gardenia?

Gardenias prefer soil moist to the touch. Assuming you have well-drained soil at all times, you can usually water once per week.

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